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The Woodlands Business & Commercial Law Blog

Businesses looking to expand may encounter a number of issues

Business owners who are looking to expand their economic footprint may encounter a number of legal issues on the way. While expansion is certainly an exciting thing, it is important for business owners to not overlook protecting their investment. As the growth of businesses is big in Texas right now, assistance is available to owners at every stage of the expansion process.

Businesses of all kinds are growing and expanding across the state. As the economy continues to improve, retail shops and restaurants, in particular, are seeing an increase in customers. The owner of one specific restaurant, which is currently based out-of-state, is looking into opening not just one but two locations in North Texas in the next few years. In the desire to expand, several factors will need to be considered, including any differences in state business laws.

Insuring a business is a must, but insurance disputes may arise

Texas business owners have a lot of reasons for wanting to protect their companies and employees. Opening and running a successful business is a big investment, and a number of issues can affect both the future of the business and an owner's personal economic status. Along with taking necessary legal steps to protect a company, having proper insurance is also a must. Unfortunately, even if insurance is obtained, insurance disputes may arise.

In many cases, having certain types of insurance may be required by law -- such as workers' compensation insurance. This kind of insurance can protect employees and business owners if injury or illness happens on-the-job; however, not all business types are required to supply this kind of coverage. Other types of insurance may be required as part of a business contract. Business owners who rent a business facility may not be responsible to obtain coverage for the building, but protecting the property contained within the space is advisable.

Construction boom may result in increased construction disputes

Industrial construction is on the rise in Texas. While this boom in building may be good for the local economy, construction disputes are likely to come up. Certain legal protections can help avoid some of these disputes from the onset; however, other legal remedies may be necessary to help resolve the ones that can't be predicted, avoided or easily rectified.

According to a recent news report, the industrial construction market in the northern part of the state has seen its best year in over a decade. In the year 2014, approximately 15.3 million square feet of industrial space was built. This is a massive increase from the previous year, which only saw a total of 8.8 million square feet of warehouse space developed.

Legally protecting family-owned businesses is a must

When some people consider opening a family-owned business, they may not know exactly what is needed to fully protect that business. Family-operated businesses are big in Texas, but they can be easily torn apart if certain precautions are not taken. Several legal documents are available to grant the protections needed, so the interests of all partners are safeguarded.

One of the first agreements family company owners may want to consider is a family business agreement. This can actually be broken down into more specific agreements, but overall, this creates a guide for how the business should be run and where each contributor would like the business to go in the future. Not only does this offer certain protections, but it can also reduce future conflicts.

Partnership disputes leads to company founder being fired

Building a business from the ground up is no easy task. If success is found, business operations may require expansion in order to keep up with demand. In some industries, the cost to expand can be quite substantial. Texas entrepreneurs may require the financial backing of investors in order to afford growing their business. Investors are certainly a valuable asset; however, if a conflict in vision for the company occurs, partnership disputes may arise.

The story of a successful business owner here in Texas may be familiar to many. The founder and president of Balcones, an award-winning distillery, saw almost instant success. Business grew so rapidly that he was soon seeking investors to help his business expand. He did find two investors interested in supporting his vision for growth, but soon after the initial expansion, the need for further development became an issue. The three business partners set out looking for an interested investor, and they found one in a highly successful businessman in another state.

Changes coming to commercial real estate in Texas?

Change is the only thing that truly seems constant, as nothing stays the same forever. Commercial real estate is considered one of the oldest industries in the United States, and it is one industry that many believe is due for major change. Texas residents who are involved in commercial real estate matters may see some significant industry developments coming in the next few years.

The real estate market goes through cycles of highs and lows every few years. The commercial real estate market is booming right now, and as the economy continues to improve, the growth seen in this industry is expected to continue. However, it is believed that certain changes are necessary in order to see continued progress. Some of these changes may include:

Dermatologist sued over breach of contract by business partner

When two or more people take the step to form a business together, each individual will put a great deal of money, blood, sweat and, sometimes, tears into getting the company off the ground. In order for each partner to protect his or her interests, legal contracts are created to identify what each partner is responsible for handling. Failure to meet the agreements laid out in such legal documents can be considered a breach of contract. Should a breach of contract occur, Texas business owners are entitled to pursue legal action against the individual who supposedly failed to hold up his or her end of the deal.

In another state, a dermatologist is being sued by his former business partner -- who is also a dermatologist -- after he chose to leave their practice after 20 years together and join a family-owned business. According to this individual's business partner, he put less money into the opening of their practice with the promise to reimburse his partner over the years. The plaintiff in this case claims that this reimbursement never took place, and the abrupt departure of the defendant has left the practice under-funded.

Closely held businesses: Pass it on, sell or close up shop?

Building a business from the ground up is no small feat. A lot of planning, preparation and good old hard work goes into making a business a success. Texas business owners may want to think about including plans for what should happen to the business when they are no longer able to lead it. This is particularly concerning for closely held businesses.

Business owners have a lot of decisions to make, including the decision to pass on the company to a successor, sell or to close up shop. For owners of closely held businesses, naming a successor can seem like an intimidating task. No one wants to hurt feelings which could, in-turn, have a negative impact on business operations. However, if the goal is to keep the business growing and succeeding, the job should go to the person best qualified to assume the responsibility. In some cases, picking a successor may not seem like the best option and selling the business or closing doors may provide a better solution.

Business law can help conquer the fears of owning a business

The decision to open a business location, whether it is a new business or an expansion, can be a tough one to make. There are a number of fears that can put the idea on the back burner. For Texas business owners or prospective business owners, business law protections can help ease these fears.

It is true that there are many risks to owning a business. The risks involved can be enough to keep some away from realizing their dreams of business formation and ownership. Some of the main fears felt by current and potential business owner are:

A construction defect claim can reduce home builder profits

The housing market seems to be doing well for both existing homes and new construction here in Texas. Building a new home is exciting for home buyers, and opening a new residential community can produce a great profit for home builders. Some would say it is a win-win situation all around. Unfortunately, home builders who are faced with a construction defect claim may face a tough legal battle, which -- if not properly prepared for -- may end up costing them dearly in the long-run.

In another jurisdiction, a home builder is under fire for possible construction defects. A mass-action lawsuit was filed against Shea Homes, who is accused of building homes that are not able withstand the environmental elements common in that area. Currently, 1,500 plaintiffs are taking part in this legal action.